VANCE — Going the extra mile led S.C. Highway Patrol Cpl. A.M. Brown to find the missing driver of a vehicle after a one-car collision outside of Vance on Oct. 10.
At approximately 11:30 p.m., an 80-year-old man was traveling east on Highway 310 in a 2003 Ford four-door vehicle when he lost control of his vehicle, ran onto the side of the road and struck the embankment.
When Brown arrived at the scene, the vehicle was still running with medication inside of it, but the driver was nowhere to be found.
Brown called for a tow truck. Orangeburg County Councilman Johnny Ravenell’s R&R Towing Company responded to the call.
While the vehicle was being towed, Brown thought he heard a dog barking in the woods.
Ravenell said he did not hear barking, but thought the noises were coming from the running vehicle, and then proceeded to tow the vehicle.
Brown searched the immediate area. A family member at the driver’s residence informed Brown that the driver would have a small dog with him and took medication daily.
After finding out that the driver took medication, Brown thought about the medication he saw in the vehicle and thought to himself, “I’ve got to find this guy tonight.”
“I couldn’t work the rest of the shift knowing that I possibly heard something, and I didn’t go and verify whether it was the driver or not,” Brown said.
Brown called Trooper Askins to meet him back at the scene of the collision.
“We went in the woods. It was still wet and swampy from all the rain,” Brown said.
As the troopers continued walking in the rain, they saw what appeared to be a person.
“It was raining, but he was asleep. We got him up and we started to walk him out. He could barely walk,” Brown said.
Brown led the way out of the woods, moving briars as Askins walked with the driver.
“He was shivering pretty badly and he was really pale,” Brown said. “He couldn’t stand up on his own.”
Brown said he and Askins realized the driver need medical help and called for an ambulance. The 80-year-old was taken to the hospital.
Later, Brown went to R&R Towing Company to pick up the driver’s medication from the vehicle.
“It’s good that he went above and beyond. Most people would’ve gone about their merry way after working an incident,” Ravenell said.